Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 8 Feb 2014

The Week’s super-quick catch-up on the main news talking points, available from 8am daily

1. PLEBGATE OFFICERS IN PORN ARRESTS
Armed police officers are being investigated over allegations that they exchanged hardcore pornography via their smartphones whilst on duty at Downing Street. Three officers have been arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing images “of an extreme sexual nature”, says Scotland Yard. The officers are from the unit at the centre of the ‘plebgate’ affair.
2. BATTERED BRITAIN BRACES FOR STORM
Southern parts of the UK are being warned of gales and further heavy rain. The Met Office has issued an amber warning for high winds in Wales and south-west England, with gusts of up to 80mph expected in some exposed locations. It has emerged that David Cameron was warned last summer of the danger of flooding in Somerset but rejected a request to help fund dredging.
3. PUBLIC REPELLED BY ‘EXTREME’ TORIES
“Extreme” Tory activists could repel voters, says an ousted Conservative MP. Tim Yeo says the party is increasingly dominated by a “shrinking band” of members with views on Europe and same-sex marriage which are at odds with wider public opinion. He became the second sitting Conservative MP in a week to be sacked by local activists.
4. FLAKE FAIL AT WINTER OLYMPICS CEREMONY
The 22nd Winter Olympics opened last night with a spectacular ceremony in Sochi. There was a glitch when one of five giant snowflakes failed to transform into an Olympic ring, leaving the Games’ iconic symbol incomplete. "No normal person would get distracted by one snowflake that did not open from the story that is being told over two and-a-half hours,” said the ceremony director.
5. WOODY ALLEN DENIES DYLAN ALLEGATION
Woody Allen has denied abusing his adopted daughter. In a letter to the New York Times, the filmmaker says Dylan Farrow had been coached to make allegations against him by his former partner, Mia Farrow. He writes that Dylan has been “used as a pawn for revenge” against him. He adds that Mia orchestrated a “smear” against him.
6. IS BORIS MEETING A LEADERSHIP BID?
An aide to Boris Johnson says it is “poppycock” to suggest a meeting with Tory backbench group is part of a leadership bid. The London mayor is due to address a meeting of the ‘301 Group’ in the Commons on Tuesday. He will spell out what a Conservative-only government could achieve. The aide added that Boris is “110 per cent” behind David Cameron.
7. HOFFMAN FUNERAL HELD IN NEW YORK
Mourners gathered at the funeral of Philip Seymour Hoffman in New York City yesterday. Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Spike Lee and other entertainment industry figures were at the Church of St Ignatius Loyola. The media was criticised yesterday for publishing and broadcasting images of Hoffman’s grieving children.
8. COWELL RETURNS TO UK X FACTOR
Simon Cowell is to return to the next series of the UK X Factor, it has been confirmed. He will lead the judging panel when the show returns for its 11th series in the autumn. “I'm excited to find a global superstar,” he said. Cowell quit the panel three years ago to launch the series in the US, but audience numbers there have been far lower than he hoped.
9. INTIMATE’ BIEBER FOOTAGE SOUGHT
Justin Bieber’s lawyers have asked a judge to block the release of images and videos featuring “intimate personal parts” of the troubled pop star. In a motion filed yesterday, they sought to block a video of Bieber “in various states of undress”, which was shot while he was in custody at Miami Beach police station following his arrest last month. News outlets have reportedly requested the footage.
10. FOOTBALL: GUNNERS FACE LIVERPOOL
All of the top four Premier League teams are in action today, with leaders Arsenal visiting fourth-placed Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off. Later, second-placed Manchester City visit Norwich, while Chelsea host Newcastle United. Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic’s impending departure from the club is a “mutual decision” says David Moyes.